Florence wrap-up, coverage preview.

The last day of Pitti Uomo was by far the most relaxed and least Firenze’d. The show itself was quieter and the designers and reps seemed relaxed, or maybe just resigned to the fatigue. The Styleforum crew got to most of the exhibitors we intended to (apologies to Sciamat fans, we missed those guys and a few others). Following, a few more visuals to preview what we managed to see and what we’ll be blogging about. We also have some Pitti-able street style shots coming up from guest blogger Grungy Gentleman. We’ll have Pitti analysis, pieces on individual brands like Jun Hashomoto, Isaia, Cheaney, and Chausser, as well as non-Pitti stories on shops like Frasi and tailors like Liverano. Same bat time, etc.

Designer for Camoshita United Arrows.

Daiki’s Birks.

MA.STRUM didn’t want us taking pictures, but I managed to get in this visor self portrait.

More blue steel from the boss.

Lubiam. We will inundate you with Italian tailored goods.

Florence, generally, part II.

 

 

 

General Pitti Theory #1: If you stand around and talk on your phone long enough, then some guys will take your picture.

Our Legacy knit caps.

One of the best new lines I saw all show was AR, the new house line from Aloha Rag. All made in Japan, basic but tweaked shapes and fabrics. And a Tsubouchi collaboration, exclusive to AR.

Joao of (top Portugal shop) Wrongweather and Stephanie and Fok of Styleforum.

Yuki Matsuda and colleague from Monitaly/Yuketen sporting a new wool fabric patterned after a briefly used Marine Corps fabric from the late 1930s.

Want Les Essentials De La Vie made-in-Japan wallet and notebook.

Shopping: Il Bisonte, Florence

Just a few blocks up from the Arno in Florence, a shopping district unfolds on the cobblestone streets, the odd angles of which can disorient a man more accustomed to the grid of a planned city. Here you’ll find Italian casual at Happy Jack; streetwear forum favorites from Woolrich, Barbour, Barena, and Beams Plus at WP Store; unique softly tailored clothing at Frasi by Simone Righi, and bespoke from Liverano and Liverano. One of the larger shops is that of Wanny Di Filippo’s Il Bisonte in Via Parione.

Il Bisonte is a leather goods maker with a dedicated following. The bearded and ponytailed Di Filippo started the company in Florence in 1970, and it’s grown to have stores in well-heeled shopping areas in Italy, the U.S., China, France, and Japan. The appeal is in the quality of the vachetta leather and the relaxed and quirky designs. The leather Il Bisonte uses is not the tough, raw hide Di Filippo’s cowboy imagery might call to mind, but a softer, more refined leather that suits his men’s accessories, like briefcases, wallets, and watches, and women’s pieces, mostly handbags, sometimes complemented with colorful canvas.

The shop in Via Parione is an ideal setting for the warm tones of Il Bisonte leather goods–lots of wood, buffalo-themed and otherwise western decor, and touches that attest to the popularity of Di Filippo as a symbol of Italian craftsmanship and idiosyncrasy. Asked why the bison/buffalo association, Di Filippo has said “For centuries these animals have been source of life and future for the people who roamed in Northern America territories. Nowadays it is a symbol that I proudly use to “sign” my product.”

After browsing in a city where you can shop in conspicuous luxury at Stefano Ricci’s palazzo or buy dirt cheap leather jackets whose origins are sketchy at best, Il Bisonte seems to represent good value. Solidly built belts start at about EUR65, while some wallets are under EUR50. Leather portfolios are in the EUR150 range, and one briefcase we particularly liked is EUR366.

Il Bisonte has shops around the world and is stocked at other shops, like Union Made in San Francisco.

Watches start at EUR195; automatic models about EUR700.

 

Welcome to the Styleforum blog.

Pete (left), and Fok (right), being all editorially at Leffot with Steven Taffel (center). Photo credit: Albert Thomas.

Styleforum thrives because of the contributions of its community of members. The editorial team at Styleforum, namely Fok (LA guy on the forum) and Pete (shoreman1782 on the forum), felt that a good way to complement member contributions and leverage Styleforum’s collective sartorial knowhow would be through an easily updated, simply designed blog where we can more easily feature focused, original content that we develop. Basically, since we started writing original editorial content a few years ago, we’ve been trying to figure out the best place to put our stuff. And hey, this looks like a nice property. Could use a little sprucing up, but it has potential.

Look for contributions from Styleforum members like Nick V. and despos, writers like Derek Guy of Die, Workwear! and Put This On, and of course, your humble hosts. The space is currently in transition, so we’ll have a few bugs to work out; don’t hesitate to leave a comment and let us know if you encounter any. We’re also still feeling out exactly what goes where, so you’ll still see forum posts of editorial content, depending on the nature of what we’re writing.

As always, Styleforum policy is that no payment in cash or in kind is allowed to be taken in exchange for editorial content. This policy is in place to preserve the editorial integrity of Styleforum.

Any “promotional articles” will be marked as such.

Thank  you for visiting and your continued contributions to the forum.

Pitti preview.

Master of mild, PBS-approved travel Rick Steves advises his readers to “avoid Florence during the big events that bring enormous crowds. A huge fashion convention jam-packs the city twice a year.” This year, we are the rabble Rick Steves warned you about. Intrepid Styleforum editorial team Pete (shoreman1782) and Fok (LA guy) are winging their way across the Atlantic to preview fall/winter 2012 at Pitti Uomo, rub elbow patches with Florence’s finest, and bring back some tales from the shadow of the Duomo. We’ve got a room with a view (not shown), we’re skipping the Uffizi in favor of Tie Your Tie, and we have no interest in David, unless someone slips some soft Italian tailoring on his glorious shoulders. It will be difficult, but we’ll be on the grind for Styleforum’s sake.

Just a few of the lines and designers who will be present at Pitti this year:

  • Barena
  • Camoshita United Arrows
  • Paraboot
  • Luciano Barbera
  • L.B.M. 1911
  • Trickers
  • Jun Hashimoto
  • G.R.P.
  • Barba Napoli
  • Chester Barrie
  • Brunello Cucinelli
  • Joseph Cheaney and Sons
  • Drakes
  • Eton Shirts
  • Hentsch Man
  • Lidfort
  • Mackintosh
  • Valstar
  • Finamore Napoli
  • Il Bisonte
  • Isaia
  • Kiton
  • Luigi Borelli
  • Schneiders
  • Sciamat
  • Holubar
  • Nepenthes/Needles
  • Our Legacy
  • Rocky Mountain Featherbed
  • TS(S)
  • The Superior Labor
  • Bill Amberg

Duomo photo credit: Chris Yunker, flickr. All other photos by Pete Anderson.

 

Fit Feedback, Alteration Suggestions, And Construction Demonstration

Fit is one of the most important yet overlooked elements of style. A garment can be made of an elegant fabric and constructed with fancy details. But if it doesn’t fit, it won’t look good or feel good.

While standards of fit are influenced by personal taste and fashion, they are largely based on the way our bodies are made and move. (For example: Wide lapels may come and go, but high arm holes are timeless.) Identifying a properly-fitted garment takes a lot of knowledge. And much more is required to construct such a garment. In this thread, all are welcome, from those purchasing a first suit, to those seeking more advanced refinement.

What makes this thread special is that it will be curated by three of America’s finest tailors, representing three generations of the craft: a tailor, Despos, and jefferyd. They will teach us not simply what is wrong with a garment, but why it is wrong, and how it can be fixed, if it can be fixed. The thread will contain articles on common problems and their solutions, as well as Q&A. In exchange for such generous service, our tailors, ask only one thing–good pictures, so defined:

Please wear dress shoes and a dress shirt with the cuffs and collar buttoned. Belt/suspenders required if pants are loose. Tie optional. Feet should be even, no more than hip distance apart, with weight equally distributed on both. Arms should hang comfortably to the sides (no flapping wings). And subjects should stand naturally–avoid puffing their chest or snapping to attention for the camera. Full front, side and back shots are ideal. They should be well-lit, with the camera held straight, 10-12 feet away, about chest/ribcage high. Other positions or angles will cause distortion, as will wide-angle lenses.

Here are some examples:

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We thank you in advance, a tailor, Despos, and jefferyd. And if you three want to tear apart the fit above pls. do!